Great Social Media Idea: A Good Meme!

Oh, internet memes. Once underground fun, now mainstream and lame after a brief moment in the sun. (For the most part. I can't help but still laugh at LOLcats.) 

It wasn't so long ago, about 18 months ago or so, when brands started peddling memes like yellowtops in Hamsterdam. (Gratuitous Wire references FTW!) Popularity rose, hilarity (?) ensued, and - inevitably - it quickly became trite and way overdone. So much so that Facebook even re-jiggered its algorithms to fight the promulgation of meme posts. Brands killing something that was once fun and popular on the internet? I'm shocked, I tell you. SHOCKED.

Using a meme to tell you to not post memes? That's how meta I am.

Using a meme to tell you to not post memes? That's how meta I am.

So does that mean that memes have no place whatsoever in our social strategies? When they are pre-packaged and unoriginal, yes. (If you can make it on a "meme-generator" website... just stop. Stop it right now.)

But when you spend the time to create something original, something that speaks uniquely to your audience and offers some sort of humor or commentary that you know your audience will enjoy? If that's the case, then I say that memes can still play a role in your social media offerings. Just because brands abused memes to a horrible extent doesn't mean that memes can't still have a place - and be very successful - when used appropriately.

Which brings me to this fun, funny, and original meme post by University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It features a photo, taken on the UWGB campus, of a student walking to class across a seemingly frozen tundra. UWGB has a tunnel system that connects several buildings, but obviously not all of them, which makes the caption particularly funny to students and alumni familiar with the campus... I'm sure all of them have been stuck going from one buildings to another above ground on a snowy winter day.

This is great original content creation, that uses the form and feel of a meme to make something that is true and authentic to the audience. It's not some cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box (Can I come up with another one? Yay redundancy!) meme that is as stale as it is unfunny. It's something made by a member of a community for that community. Who could have guessed that was a successful combo?

So props to UWGB! And stay warm out there. Also, I can't help but give a shoutout to another post from UWGB... this time making their campus appear to be Hoth. I love the light-hearted and goofy spirit!

Those scruffy looking nerf herders...


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